Jul 15 2015

1995: July 15-21

tvweek_150795The Sarge cops a bullet!
Dramatic scenes in Blue Heelers this week as Sgt Tom Croydon (John Wood, pictured with co-star Lisa McCune) is shot during a storyline which begins when internal investigations find a bong and some speed in his home. It is revealed that the bong belonged to Tom’s daughter, Susan (Beth Buchanan), but both she and Tom deny anything about the speed, while both are suspicious of each other. “Tom and Susan are not getting on real well,” Wood told TV Week. “Which is typical because they haven’t lived together for a long time.” The scene in which Tom is shot was distressing for all involved. “I was supposed to be shot in the collarbone, and there was a lot of bleeding,” he said. “We actually had advisors on set telling us how much ‘blood’ to use to look realistic. It was quite chilling to be lying on the floor with blood all down my arm. Some of the other actors were saying how shocking it was to run in and see me lying on the floor covered in all that blood.” It is only the third time in his 25 year acting career that Wood has been shot. The first was in Cop Shop — “My head was blown off!” — and the second was in an ABC drama, Catspaw. “If I’d been an American actor, I would have been shot six million times by now!”

Johanna joins Missing Pieces
Seven Network sports reporter Johanna Griggs is to co-host a one hour live-to-air special, Missing Pieces, billed as ‘Australia’s first interactive TV program’. To be co-hosted by Rob Guest (Man O Man), Missing Pieces will invite viewers to call in with challenges and clues to help solve some of life’s mysteries. The Seven Network has the option to extend Missing Pieces into a series.

Denise quits GP
Actress Denise Roberts, one of the original cast members of ABC‘s GP, is quitting the series. Roberts, who plays receptionist Julie Winters, will finish working on the show in October. “She feels she has gone as far as she can with her character,” an ABC spokesperson told TV Week. “She’s been there since day one and feels it’s time to move on.” Despite leaving GP, Roberts is still connected to ABC as associate producer and co-creator of its new drama series Correlli. The new 10-part series, starring Deborra-Lee Furness and newcomer Hugh Jackman, is now filming in Melbourne. As well as working behind the scenes, Roberts does make a guest appearance in Correlli as a security guard.


  • The Nine Network has announced plans to revive This Is Your Life with host Mike Munro. The announcement may have come at the wrong time for TIYL‘s former host Mike Willesee (he hosted an earlier version of the program in the 1970s), who was planning to pitch reviving the format to the Seven Network.
  • Former Home And Away star Matt Doran is returning to the popular soap, but viewers may barely recognise him as his character, Damian Roberts, returns from university with his hair all in dreadlocks.
  • The Ten Network will be hoping that signing up Melissa Tkautz (E Street) and Kate Fischer to Echo Point may trigger some ratings relief for the ailing soap. Meanwhile, former Home And Away star Nicola Quilter has been doing voice-over work for the show.
  • jadegattryanlappinJade Gatt and Ryan Lappin (pictured) have been announced as the hosts of Network Ten‘s new breakfast show, Cheez TV. Gatt recently had a role in the movie Billie’s Holiday and Lappin has a guest appearance coming up in Heartbreak High.
  • Aaron Pedersen, who has been replaced by Mike Hammond in the second series of Gladiators, is now doing voice-over work for a 26-part animated series, Croc-adoo.
  • Former model Emma Harrison has joined Neighbours as Johanna Hartman, the sister of Annalise (Kimberley Davies). Harrison has previously had small roles in Time Trax and Mission: Impossible and in the film Street Fighter.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 25 June): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Home Improvement Seven Sun 2155000
2 ER Nine Thu 2095000
3 Lois & Clark Seven Mon 2017000
4 The X Files Ten Wed 1961000
5 National Nine News Nine M-F 1918000
6 National Nine News Nine Sun 1898000
7 The World’s Greatest Commercials Seven Sun 1892000
8 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1826000
9 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1811000
10 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1803000
11 Our House Nine Wed 1779000
12 National Nine News Nine Sat 1779000
13 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1773000
14 The Footy Show Nine Thu 1770000
15 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1750000
16 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1750000
17 Getaway Nine Thu 1743000
18 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1720000
19 Money Nine Wed 1716000
20 Gladiators Seven Sat 1689000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, July 15-21):
The Women’s National Basketball League (5pm, ABC) features Sydney Flames versus Perth Breakers. Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) takes a ride in a giant-sized lobster; and takes a look at the latest innovations in sports shoes.

Sunday: AFL Sunday (1pm, Seven) includes Brisbane Bears versus Collingwood, live from Brisbane, followed by West Coast Eagles versus Footscray, live from Perth. Sunday night movies are Malice (Seven), Almost An Angel (Nine) and Cape Fear (Ten).

davidreynetracygrimshawMonday: David Reyne and Tracy Grimshaw (pictured) host the debut of the new-look Midday (12pm, Nine). In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) is accidentally launched into a modelling career. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Iain Hewitson is cooking beef at Janet Holmes a Court‘s vineyard in Western Australia, and Jim Brown discovers that penfriend relationships nowadays don’t just rely on pen and paper.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Mal (Benjie McNair) and Danni (Eliza Szonert) look for a boarder to help with the rent. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Vesna (Lenka Kripac) is unable to cope with the pressures of adult life after leaving school. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), relationships begin to fray after unauthorised firearms are discovered at Wayne’s (Grant Bowler) house and a quantity of speed found at Tom’s (John Wood) place.

janehall_0002Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shannon (Isla Fisher) tells Pippa (Debra Lawrance) and Michael (Dennis Coard) that she is leaving. Jane Hall (pictured) hosts a new series of Weddings (7.30pm, Nine), going behind the scenes at the average and not-so-average wedding. The conclusion to Celluloid Heroes (8.30pm, ABC) looks at the history of Australian cinema between 1948 and 1971, and then to the present day. In Halifax fp: Lies Of The Mind (8.30pm, Nine), a beautiful heiress, destined to inherit $80 million on her father’s death, is suspected of committing his brutal murder. However, the young woman claims to have numerous personalities, any of whom could be responsible for the killing.

Thursday: Andrew Denton guest stars in the series final of game show Vidiot (5.30pm, ABC). In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Lou (Tom Oliver) and Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer) have a difference of opinion about the new direction for Chez Chez. In the series final of Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC), Mickey (Gary Sweet) wounds a dangerous criminal during a violent rescue. Rob Guest and Johanna Griggs host the special Missing Pieces (8.30pm, Seven), covering a variety of human interest stories and inviting viewers to call in with clues to help solve various mysteries.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) tries out for a modelling job which pays $10,000. Friday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) features Adelaide Crows versus North Melbourne, live from Adelaide.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 15 July 1995. Southdown Press




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/1995-july-15-21.html

Jul 12 2015

1995: July 8-14

tvweek_080795Kimberley moves in
Gladiators co-host and former Paradise Beach star Kimberley Joseph (pictured with Melissa George) makes her first appearance on Home And Away later this month. She is playing the part of Jo, a former schoolmate of Angel (Melissa George) who becomes jealous when it appears Angel has been picked ahead of her for two modelling campaigns. “It was kind of fun being bitchy, because my character on Paradise Beach was so similar to Angel’s on Home And Away,” Joseph told TV Week. “It’s nice to play something different.” While there is the possibility that she may have an extended role in Home And Away, Joseph is committed to co-host the second series of Gladiators, which begins production this month in Brisbane.

aaronpedersenGladiators shake-up!
While Kimberley Joseph (as above) is signed up to co-host the second series of Gladiators, there are other changes taking place in the show’s line-up. Joseph’s hosting partner Aaron Pedersen, (pictured) who left the ABC to join Gladiators, is to be replaced by Mike Hammond. Series referee John Alexander has been forced to quit due to his annual Wimbledon commitments. He will be replaced by former cricket star turned TV reporter Mike Whitney. Rugby league star Mark McGaw, alias Gladiator Hammer, has also left the show due to other commitments. Two new Gladiators — Predator and Commando — will join the show. “We’re going to be fine tuning and trying to make the show slicker,” producer Anthony McClellan told TV Week. “They’ll be more emphasis on the sporting nature of the Gladiators. There will be more time for the show to breathe as a sporting element.” The new series of Gladiators is expected to go to air from September.

margdowney_0004Marg’s serious comeback
Former Fast Forward star Marg Downey (pictured) will be guest starring in this week’s episode of Blue Heelers. It is her second serious role on TV, having appeared in the 1992 telemovie Economy Class. In Blue Heelers she plays the part of a mother whose five-year-old daughter is abducted. Her character is a member of a religious sect and members of the community and some of the police suspect that the sect is somehow involved. As well as her TV comeback, Downey has been performing in theatre roles and doing voice-over work She has also been working on a 13-part animated series, The Silver Brumby. But despite her new dramatic roles she hasn’t ruled out a return to sketch comedy — but would be unlikely to revisit some of her former alter egos such as Jana, Janelle or the SBS lady. “If I did go back to sketch comedy, I’d like to start afresh and do a whole new batch of people,” she said.

vivianschenkerVivian’s new Insight
SBS‘ new weekly current affairs show, Insight, is being described by its host as diverse. “Current affairs on TV tends to focus on the needs of a narrow few,” host Vivian Schenker (pictured) told TV Week. “That is one of the problems of commercial TV — there is a narrow mould that is acceptable. They seem to go to the same faces for comment. They are usually white, Anglo-Saxon males, and that’s not the face of Australia any more. I’m not trying to push the ethnic thing here, but cultural diversity in current affairs is vital.”


  • Following recent reports that Georgie Parker was being pursued for the second series of Fire, she has since confirmed that she will not be reprising her role of “Mad Dog” Morgan Cartwright.
  • martinhendersonjessicanapierRatings for Ten‘s new soap Echo Point have improved slightly since being moved to the 6.00pm timeslot — taking it away from being in direct competition with Home And Away — but success is still a long way off. Producers are hoping that some steamy scenes between Zac and Edwina (Martin Henderson and Jessica Napier, pictured) might ignite some ratings improvement. Meanwhile, former Paradise Beach star Ingo Rademacher is to make a guest appearance in the series before returning to the US where he is pursuing further roles.
  • Word is that there is some upheaval to come at the Seven Network — with Denton, Mulray and current affairs shows Today Tonight and The Times all on shaky ground. It has also emerged that Seven had originally tried to lure Mike Munro across from Nine to host Today Tonight, but when the show’s plans went from being national to state-based it was not enough to convince him to make the move.
  • Antonia Kidman, sister of actor Nicole Kidman, has landed a job in the TV industry. She is working as personal assistant to Seven‘s Doug Mulray.
  • A recent segment on Burke’s Backyard about Italian tomatoes has sparked a huge response from viewers. Host Don Burke offered free seeds to the first 15,000 who wrote in. More than 110,000 letters piled in, leading to urgent requests to tomato buyers in Italy for more seeds.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 18 June): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 National Nine News Nine Sun 2289000
2 Home Improvement Seven Sun 2285000
3 Lois & Clark Seven Mon 2032000
4 The World’s Greatest Commercials Seven Sun 2017000
5 ER Nine Thu 2014000
6 National Nine News Nine Sat 1966000
7 National Nine News Nine M-F 1900000
8 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1848000
9 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1847000
10 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1830000
11 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1798000
12 Getaway Nine Thu 1784000
13 The X Files Ten Wed 1774000
14 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1765000
15 The Footy Show Nine Thu 1764000
16 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1759000
17 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1753000
18 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1707000
19 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1702000
20 Money Nine Wed 1696000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:

“From Film Australia, and made in recognition of the centenary of Australian films, Celluloid Heroes will screen (this week) on the ABC. Australia was a pioneer in the film industry, with 20 features in the can before 1911. It was 1912 before the giant we now know as Hollywood started to awake, but just 10 years later it would be producing 90 per cent of the films shown in Australia. Written and directed by Robert Francis and narrated by TV Week Logie Awards Hall of Fame inductee Bryan Brown, Celluloid Heroes contains a great deal of archival material which can only be described as remarkable. Diverse events such as Newhaven winning the 1896 Melbourne Cup and Australia becoming a federation on January 1, 1901, were captured on film which still exists. In this era, when movie budgets resemble telephone numbers and the leading companies are run by massive multi-national corporations, it is interesting to note that one of the major players in the early days of the Australian film industry was the Salvation Army. By 1905, in fact, the Salvos were the largest producers and exhibitors of movies in Australia.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, July 8-14):
Saturday: Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) features a new type of artificial skin for burns victims; and saving wildlife from oil spills with an automatic bird-washing machine.

Sunday: The Rugby League Test (1pm, Nine) — Australia versus New Zealand — is live from the Sydney Football Stadium. AFL Sunday (1pm, Seven) includes Sydney versus St Kilda, live from Sydney, followed by Fremantle Dockers versus Melbourne, live from Perth. In Banjo Paterson’s The Man From Snowy River 2 (6.30pm, Nine), when Frank (Rodney Bell) changes the course of the river, the McGregors lose their water supply. Sunday night movies are Royce (Seven) and White Men Can’t Jump (Ten), up against the debut of two-part mini-series Children Of The Dust (Nine). Wimbledon (10.30pm, Nine) comes to an end with the Women’s Doubles Final and the Men’s Singles Final.

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Danni (Eliza Szonert) and Mal’s (Benjie McNair) new home changes from being a love-nest to a party house. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shannon (Isla Fisher) visits the doctor who confirms her worst fears about anorexia.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Jen (Alyce Platt) decides between Brook (Felix Nobis) and Phil (Ian Rawlings). In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), the brother of a missing five-year-old girl claims that they are both being beaten up by older kids because of their family’s religious beliefs. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Julie’s (Denise Roberts) class reunion forces to examine her life and confront her loneliness. The Derryn Hinch special No Means No (9.30pm, Nine) looks at rape and the legal system.

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Irene (Lynne McGranger) goes over to tell Fisher (Norman Coburn) that Alf (Ray Meagher) has been charged. The debut of Film Australia documentary series Celluloid Heroes (8.30pm, ABC) looks at Australia’s fledgling film industry at the turn of the 20th century, concluding with the 1927 Royal Commission into the Australian Film Industry and the introduction of sound.

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Nelson (Laurence Breuls) and Sally (Kate Ritchie) share a special moment on the beach; while Pippa’s (Debra Lawrance) father, Bert (Peter Collingwood), arrives out of the blue. In Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC), a troubled young girl blames herself for her brother’s death.

Friday: In Echo Point (6pm, Ten), Dean’s (Diarmid Heidenreich) scheming ways continue as he does a deal with Marty (Jack Ellis). Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) includes delayed coverage of Richmond versus Essendon from the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 8 July 1995. Southdown Press




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/1995-july-8-14.html

Jul 07 2015

1995: July 1-7

tvweek_010795Kimberley’s death threats
Being in such a high profile role, Neighbours star Kimberley Davies (pictured) could expect to receive some form of unwanted attention, but for the young star it has taken its toll on her social life. “Most people who approach me are lovely, but you do get the odd person calling out, ‘Slut’ or stupid things like, ‘You think you’re so good’,” she told TV Week. “As a result of all this, I just don’t go out anymore. You become a homebody.” Some of the attention comes in the form of threatening letters. One correspondent threatened to kill her. “That’s just lovely,” she said. “It is a bit of a worry that someone will take the trouble to write that they want to kill you.” She attributes some of this behaviour to certain media outlets that have painted her in a negative light. “The problem with people who write stories like these is that they just don’t care how the public sees you. It really upsets me. I don’t like being made to look like an airhead.” Although she is happy being in Neighbours, Davies does have an inkling to get back to study. “It’s three years since I’ve studied. I still love acting but I’m thinking that at some point I’d like to study physiotherapy part-time.”

simonbossellA matter of life or death
Actor Simon Bossell (pictured) has played an impressive array of roles in his relatively short career. Upcoming TV appearances include Singapore Sling and Cody telemovies and Police Rescue. But possibly his most controversial role will be in this week’s episode of GP, tackling the topic of euthanasia. “I’m playing a gay guy, HIV positive, whose boyfriend, Jeremy (Stuart Bennett), is more of a concern than he is,” Bossell told TV Week. “Jeremy discovers he has a lymphoma on the brain which means he doesn’t want to risk being non compos mentis ever again. He wants to finish his life.” The two-part storyline also marks the series exit of Dr Martin Dempsey (Damian Rice) from the Ross Street surgery.

John cops a TV daughter
Blue HeelersJohn Wood gets to show a softer side to his character, Tom Croydon, with the return of Tom’s daughter Susan (Beth Buchanan). “The nicest thing about having Beth on the show for a few episodes is that it gives me, as an actor, the opportunity to relate to someone on a personal level, rather than ordering people around,” Wood told TV Week. Former Neighbours star Buchanan has been busy with theatre roles, with her only TV appearances being the few episodes of Blue Heelers last year and again now.

Real-life drama on ABC set
An explosion stunt during filming of ABC‘s Bordertown has seriously injured a production assistant. Despite crew being moved 100 metres away from the explosion site, a railway sleeper was thrown into the air and landed on an outside broadcast van, then fell and hit the assistant on the head. “Production was stopped, an ambulance called and she ended up having to have 20 stitches to her head,” an ABC spokesperson confirmed.


  • Sale Of The Century (with Glenn Ridge and Nicky Buckley, pictured) will celebrate its upcoming 15th anniversary with a one-hour special to go to air later this month. Since its debut in 1980, the show has presented almost 3300 episodes, given away over $45 million in cash and prizes and asked over 150,000 questions.
  • The Nine Network‘s planned new soap, Breakers, has been re-named Pacific Drive. No cast have been announced as yet but production is due to begin in August.
  • The Seven Network has picked up the Australian television rights to Kylie Minogue‘s new US film, Bio-Dome. But it will be two to three years before it will be able to be aired because it has to clear cinema, pay TV and video releases first. This timeframe is set to be the norm for film releases to make it to free-to-air television now that pay TV is in the equation.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 11 June): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Michael Jackson Special Nine Thu 2222000
2 Rugby League State Of Origin 3 Nine Mon 1933000
3 ER Nine Thu 1909000
4 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1881000
5 Money Nine Wed 1864000
6 National Nine News Nine Sat 1858000
7 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1855000
8 National Nine News Nine Sun 1848000
9 Lois & Clark Seven Mon 1806000
10 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1805000
11 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1792000
12 Our House Nine Wed 1791000
13 National Nine News Nine M-F 1784000
14 Gladiators Seven Sat 1784000
15 The Footy Show Nine Thu 1780000
16 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1776000
17 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1761000
18 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1742000
19 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1735000
20 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1720000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:

“Funny, farcical and often downright charming, The Vicar Of Dibley has been an instant hit for the ABC. With (Dawn) French’s old partner in crime, Jennifer Saunders, due back in AbFab towards the end of this month — also on a Monday night — things could be looking up at the start of the week for a little while to come. The bad news is that the new series of AbFab is almost definitely the last. The good news is that Dawn French, having completed The Vicar Of Dibley, is working on another series of Murder Most Horrid.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, July 1-7):
Saturday: Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) features a solar-powered lawn mower that works automatically. Comedy-variety show Mulray (8.30pm, Seven) is back for a new series. Former Good Morning Australia and Hard Copy presenter Gordon Elliott hosts a new US talk show, screening on Ten (9.30pm).

Sunday: AFL Sunday (1pm, Seven) includes Sydney versus Essendon, live from Sydney, followed by Fremantle versus Carlton, live from Perth. In Heartbreak High (5.30pm, Ten), Southgate (Tony Martin) and Suzie (Belinda Giblin) call off their relationship. SBS begins 23 days’ coverage of the Tour de France, with a package of highlights each evening (6pm) and repeated late at night. Sunday night movies are Father Of The Bride (repeat, Seven), Assassin (Nine) and A Child Too Many (Ten).

Monday: Children’s series Ocean Girl (4.30pm, Ten) returns with new episodes. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Chloe (Kristy Wright) tries to apologise to Jack (Daniel Amalm) for her father’s racist behaviour. Wimbledon (10.35pm, Nine) resumes for its second week.

Tuesday: In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Martin (Damian Rice) is under investigation following allegations by Jeremy’s (Stuart Bennett) sister after his death by euthanasia.

Wednesday: Kerri-Anne Kennerley is guest host of Bert Newton‘s Good Morning Australia (9am, Ten). In Echo Point (6pm, Ten), Hopper (David Woodley) and Coral’s (Roxane Wilson) romance is nipped in the bud when an old girlfriend arrives. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) and Shane (Dieter Brummer) buy their house. The special Peter Allen — The Boy From Oz (8.30pm, ABC) traces the career of the late Peter Allen, from his beginnings at a bush pub at age 11.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Brook (Felix Nobis) sets the challenge for Philip (Ian Rawlings) — may the best man win Jen’s (Alyce Platt) heart. In Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC), a highly dangerous building demolition becomes the site of a tense rescue.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Selina (Tempany Deckert) tells Pippa (Debra Lawrance) she thinks Shannon (Isla Fisher) is anorexic. Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) includes delayed telecast of Collingwood versus North Melbourne from the MCG.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 1 July 1995. Southdown Press




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/1995-july-1-7.html

Jul 06 2015

Obituary: Bill Marsden

billmarsdenBill Marsden, founding general manager of Wagga Wagga television station RVN2, has died at the age of 90.

Formerly manager of Young radio station 2LF, Marsden was appointed to the Board of Riverina Television Pty Ltd upon it gaining the licence to operate the TV station in the Riverina and South Western Slopes district in 1962.

He was appointed the station’s general manager, starting in January 1963, and launched RVN2 in June 1964 as a modest operation with only 24 staff. The station went on to become the first in Australia to record a profit within its first full year of broadcasting.

He continued to manage both RVN2 and its subsequent sister station AMV4, Albury, through until the mid-1980s. By then both stations had a combined workforce of 120.

The two stations have since become branches of the Prime7 regional network.

Upon retirement, Marsden and his wife Dorothy moved to Queensland.

A memorial service will be held at Cleveland Uniting Church in Brisbane on Saturday, July 18 at 2pm and there are plans for a local memorial in the Wagga district later in the month.

Source: XRoyvision, The Daily Advertiser



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/obituary-bill-marsden.html

Jul 01 2015

Ten Brisbane turns 50

tvq0_testing_0002Ten Brisbane is 50 years old today.

As well as being Brisbane’s third commercial station it was also the third station to launch in the Independent Television System — the network now known as Network Ten.

The licence to operate the new channel was awarded to Universal Telecasters (Queensland) Limited in February 1964. But only a few weeks later the new broadcasting licence was withheld by the government after Universal Telecasters became the subject of a significant takeover. In a spectacular day of share trading, 600,000 shares in Universal, worth £200,000, changed hands to a secret buyer — later found to be Ansett Transport Industries, the company which owned the new Melbourne channel, ATV0, and had minor investments in new channels in Adelaide and Perth.

Significantly, Ansett through a subsidiary company had been an unsuccessful applicant for the Brisbane licence.

The Postmaster-General, Alan Hulme, later announced after a review that Universal would still be granted the licence as more than 50 per cent of shares were still held by Queensland-based interests and that Ansett had not contravened the Broadcasting Act. Ansett’s share of Universal was reported to be 48.9 per cent.

With the dramas of its shareholding behind it, Universal then went on to launch its new TV station — TVQ Channel 0 — broadcasting from studios on Mt Coot-tha in Brisbane, with rival channels BTQ7 and QTQ9 also based on the mountain.

The station broadcast its first test transmissions from March 1965, giving viewers and TV retailers plenty of opportunity to check if they could receive the novel ‘0’ frequency and to enable time to have their sets or antennas converted if necessary. Reports of clear reception were received from the Gold Coast, Darling Downs and Bundaberg, with the early test transmissions also being picked up as far as Cairns.


tvq0_openingBy the end of May it was announced that TVQ0 would have its official launch on 1 July, with Universal chairman Sir Alexander Murphy promising “a new look in television for Queenslanders”. He added, “there is no doubt that TVQ’s close liaison with stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide has given it access to many fine programs and I know that Brisbane viewers will be delighted with what they will see”.

Although TV stations usually opened with special programming or lavish fanfare, TVQ0 made its official debut without any formal launch program and instead just went straight into regular programming from opening day.


Station announcer David Jull welcomed viewers to the new channel before the first programs — a 15-minute documentary film followed by children’s programs Captain Kidd and the Melbourne-made The Magic Circle Club. Imports My Friend Flicka, Ivanhoe, Sargeant Bilko, The Flintstones, The Baileys Of Balboa and Gunsmoke took viewers through to the evening’s movie double-feature, Roman Holiday followed by Apache Uprising.

tvq0_countdown_0001TVQ went on to produce a small number of local programs to supplement its network and imported fare. Programs in the early years included a talent quest, New Faces, hosted by Jull. Sherry Wheeler hosted fun for the kids with The Saturday Show. Funville was another children’s program and there was pop music for teens with John Dommett‘s Countdown. Dommett, later to become a prominent actor, also presented a children’s quiz show, Student ChallengeHaydn Sargent fronted daytime current affairs program, Look. Radio personality Billy J Smith, later a sportscaster for the station and co-host of the national It’s A Knockout, got  his break in TV as host of quiz show The Numbers Game.

Shane Porteous, familiar to many as the sensible Dr Terence Elliott in the long-running A Country Practice, had an early role as Brisbane’s answer to the ghoulish Deadly Earnest, presenting late night B-grade movies.

But like its interstate sister stations, Universal was losing money on TVQ0. After only two years of operation the channel had accumulated almost $2 million in losses. Despite the losses Ansett took over the remaining share of Universal Telecasters by 1970. By 1971 the station was finally making a small profit. A decade later TVQ0 was sold to a partnership between Ampol and Sydney radio station 2SM.

pbradyThe 1970s saw TVQ0 produce The Money Makers with Philip Brady (pictured). The program set new records with a top prize of $20,000 and also made history as the first five-nights-a-week quiz show on Australian television. The success of the program, screened nationally, led to a spin-off series, Junior Moneymakers.

In 1975, the channel celebrated its 10th anniversary with a telethon featuring guest stars from various network programs who had made the trip from Sydney via train — emulating a similar trip taken by the cast of the top-rating Number 96 from Sydney to the TV Week Logie Awards in Melbourne, being greeted by crowds of fans as the train stopped at stations en route.


tvq0_1965_0001 tvq0_1966_0001
tvq0_1971 tvq0_1972

Later in the decade TV quizmaster Malcolm Searle hosted Pyramid Challenge, and Dave Allenby hosted Perfect Match (of no connection to the 1980s dating show of the same name). Both programs came from the studios of TVQ0 and were screened across the 0-10 Network. Other network programs to come from TVQ around this time included game show Casino 10 (again with Philip Brady), children’s program Time For Living and talent quest The Have A Go Show.

johncrookJohn Crook (pictured) came to Brisbane after working in Bendigo and Tasmania. He hosted the channel’s morning show, A Crook Affair (later The John Crook Show), for over a decade. The show later made way in the 1980s for Good Morning Brisbane and Living. Crook went on to produce a travel series, Top End Down Under, which screened locally and was sold to the US.

Although TVQ had launched in 1965, it was almost a decade before it had launched its own news service. From mid 1974, TVQ0 had partnered with Brisbane radio station 4IP in news venture News WatchNeville Roberts was the first newsreader, later followed by Brian Cahill and Des McWilliam. Others to have read the news at TVQ have included Jo Pearson, Robin Parkin, Kay McGrath, Mike Higgins, Rob Readings, Chris Collins, Tony Ryan, Tracy Dyson, Hugh Cornish, Pam Tamblyn, Pat Harvey, Geoff Mullins, Anna McMahon, Bruce Paige, Juanita Phillips, Glenn Taylor, Tracey Spicer, Marie-Louise Theile, Sharyn Ghidella, Bill McDonald and current newsreader Georgina Lewis.

jackimacdonald_0004Even Jacki MacDonald (pictured), forever popular with Queenslanders and best known as host of the local Breakfast With Jacki Mac and sidekick on the Melbourne-based Hey Hey It’s Saturday on Nine, showed a serious side by reading the 6pm news on TVQ0 in the early 1980s.

Donna Meiklejohn was an early weather presenter, as was Delvene Delaney. Paul Bongiorno, before being political reporter in Canberra for the Ten Network, had a stint presenting the weather at TVQ0 but went on to become an accomplished investigative reporter, winning a number of Walkley Awards for excellence in journalism before moving on to Canberra. Ray Wilkie, formerly of the Bureau of Meteorology, presented the weather for a number of years, including a stint on Ten’s national late night news.

haydnsargent_0001In 1980 the channel added a current affairs program, The Sargent Report, fronted by veteran radio and TV host Haydn Sargent (pictured). The program found the going tough up against similarly local current affairs shows on rivals Seven and Nine. It was to have only a short life.

The station’s Eyewitness News won a TV Week Logie in 1986 for its coverage of the siege at Eagle Farm, where a man wielding a shotgun threatened to ignite a tankerload of fuel at the Brisbane airport.

Former journalist turned business tycoon Christopher Skase bought TVQ0 for $34 million in 1984. Skase’s subsequent purchase of the Seven Network then forced him to sell TVQ0 to regional broadcaster Darling Downs Television (DDTV) in September 1987 for $123 million. DDTV, which owned DDQ10 in Toowoomba, set about swapping the channel frequencies between its two channels — switching TVQ from 0 to 10 to bring it into line with the rest of the Ten Network and to address concerns over poor reception of the 0 signal in parts of Brisbane. The changeover to TVQ10 occurred in September 1988.

0_1974 atv0_1974
 tvq0_1983 ten_1988
ten1989 TEN_Logo

TVQ_EyewitnessNews_00021988 was also the year that TVQ was the host broadcaster at the six-month World Expo 88 being held in Brisbane. TVQ broadcast the key events from Expo, including the opening and closing ceremonies as well as a weekly highlights package, This Week At Expo. The station also housed its newsroom operation onsite at Expo for the duration, allowing visitors the chance to see the workings of the newsroom and production of news bulletins in person.

In more recent years production at TVQ10 has focused largely on the evening news but has also contributed to the network’s children’s programs, including In The Box, Puzzle Play, Totally Wild and Wurrawhy. The Brisbane studios also host Couch Time, the afternoon segments aired across the network on Ten’s secondary channel, Eleven.

Source: The Age, 23 April 1964. TV Week, 10 April 1965. Broadcasting And Television, 27 May 1965. TV Week, 29 April 1967. TV Week, 22 June 1968. The Age, 24 May 1972. On-Air: 25 Years Of TV In Queensland. Lost.TVQ. Kuttsywoodscouch.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/ten-brisbane-turns-50.html

Jun 30 2015

1995: June 24-30

tvweek_240695Cover: Nicky Buckley (Sale Of The Century)

How Sale sank the soaps!
It was meant to be the battle of the soaps — Seven‘s Home And Away versus Ten‘s new Echo Point — but the winner of the 7.00pm timeslot has been Sale Of The Century! Ten’s new effort has debuted to ratings that have failed to match the Roseanne reruns it had replaced, giving both Home And Away and Sale Of The Century a ratings boost. Questions are raised at Ten’s strategy of putting Echo Point up against the veteran Home And Away. “Please don’t ask me to explain the working of Channel Ten,” Des Monaghan, Seven’s director of production, told TV Week. “What they do is a complete mystery to me.” A spokesperson for Seven publicity said: “If you are going to put a new soap against an established soap, you want to be different. You don’t put up a pale copy. Echo Point is just a pale imitation of Home And Away.” But a spokesperson for Network Ten has defended its new series: “We program Network Ten for Network Ten, and Echo Point is right for our schedule. We are up against very tough opposition. But we have great faith in the show. It has excellent production values and strong drama qualities.” Industry sources have remarked that Echo Point‘s dismal launch almost mirrors that of another Network Ten disaster, Arcade, fifteen years earlier. Even dud Nine Network soaps Family And Friends and Paradise Beach got off to a better start. Paradise Beach got a stay of execution due to overseas sales, but Echo Point has yet to be sold anywhere. Producers Southern Star Xanadu are hoping to sell the show to foreign markets at the upcoming marketing festival in Cannes. Meanwhile, Seven has also denied it deliberately tried to bury Echo Point by having former Home And Away cast members return in the same week that Ten’s new show launched. “The stories are done months before,” Monaghan said. “We were just very pleased that Channel Ten decided to launch their show that week.”

Fire on the backburner
Production on a second series of the Seven Network‘s popular drama Fire has been postponed until November in the hope producers can secure Georgie Parker to reprise her role as Morgan Cartwright. “Nothing has been signed, but Georgie is indicating she’d rather pursue theatre work than film another series of Fire,” a Seven spokesperson told TV Week. “But, despite that, negotiations are continuing and they are confident they’ll get Georgie.” It does appear, however, that fellow co-star Peter Phelps will not be returning. “His return isn’t looking good,” the spokesperson said. Meanwhile, the series will be adding a second female character to join the team of firefighters and will also be adding two new male cast members to replace Aaron Jeffery, whose character was killed off, and Shane Feeney-Connor, whose character was revealed as the arsonist in the first series. Because of the delay in production the second series may not appear on screen until April next year.

salvatorecocoSal to the rescue
Heartbreak High‘s Salvatore Coco (pictured) is joining the cast of ABC‘s Police Rescue for its upcoming fifth and final series. Coco will play Joseph Cardillo, described as “young, bright, energetic, optimistic, confident and charming”. It is actually Coco’s second appearance in the ABC drama. He had a guest role opposite Home And Away star Laura Vasquez in an earlier episode.


  • funniestpeopleSeventies pop star John Paul Young failed to convince the studio audience of Seven‘s Funniest People that he was the real deal. He appears on the show’s upcoming lookalike special, pictured (centre) with co-host Andrew Daddo with judge Julia Morris from Full Frontal.
  • Trouble on the set of the new Midday, already? Apparently new co-hosts Tracy Grimshaw and David Reyne didn’t quite get on during their first meeting and publicity shoot. It was described by a Nine source as “a slight clash of egos”, but all are confident any issues will be sorted by the time the show debuts next month.
  • Home And Away star Lynne McGranger is about to get proposed to in the series, and to have her first… and second… screen kiss! Her first kiss comes when her character, Irene Roberts, is proposed to by Mick O’Reilly (Peter Whitford). But the romance may not go to plan when Irene then has a kiss with her ex-husband, Mud (Tom Richards).

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 4 June): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Lois & Clark Seven Mon 2287000
2 National Nine News Nine Sun 2082000
3 Home Improvement Seven Sun 2046000
4 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1923000
5 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1866000
6 ER Nine Thu 1861000
7 Gladiators Seven Sat 1853000
8 National Nine News Nine M-F 1835000
9 Money Nine Wed 1807000
10 Best Of World’s Greatest Commercials Seven Sun 1793000
11 Our House Nine Wed 1778000
12 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1767000
13 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1764000
14 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1764000
15 The X Files Ten Wed 1760000
16 National Nine News Nine Sat 1758000
17 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1745000
18 Just Kidding Nine Tue 1721000
19 Home And Away Seven M-F 1699000
20 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1691000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:

tomlongrebeccamurphy“At 7 o’clock weeknights, Echo Point (cast including Tom Long and Rebecca Murphy, pictured) has made the most disastrous start in the ratings that I can remember for any Australian soap… and there have been a few clangers. It must have been devastating for Network Ten and the makers of the series, Southern Star Xanadu, to have seen their opening week slide from worst possible scenario downwards. The programming of Echo Point remains a puzzle. That’s all I can say on that matter, really. It made no sense at the time, and I haven’t heard any explanation of it which has since made sense, either.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 24-30):
Saturday: Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) features the latest way to insulate the home against aircraft noise and how teenagers learn safer driving with a 3D simulator. Gladiators (7.30pm, Seven) is up to its First Quarter Final. The Final of the Rugby World Cup (10pm, Ten) is live from Johannesburg.

Sunday: AFL Sunday (1pm, Seven) includes Brisbane versus North Melbourne, live from Brisbane, followed by West Coast Eagles versus Sydney, live from Perth. Sunday night movies are Kill Me Again (Seven), Enchanted April (Nine) and Hook (repeat, Ten).

Monday: In Echo Point (7pm, Ten), Edwina (Jessica Napier) feels outdone in her own house and plans a little revenge. Wimbledon, the world’s biggest tennis tournament, begins two weeks of competition (10.40pm, Nine).

lynnemcgrangerpeterwhitfordTuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), there are mixed reactions to Irene and O’Reilly’s (Lynne McGranger and Peter Whitford, pictured) engagement. Ray Martin Presents (8.30pm, Nine) interviews Batman Forever stars Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones, Nicole Kidman and Val Kilmer. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Martin (Damian Rice) agrees to perform euthanasia for a dear friend suffering the final stages of the HIV virus.

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shane (Dieter Brummer) and Angel (Melissa George) are shocked to find that their house is up for sale.

Thursday: In motoring show Behind The Wheel (7.30pm, Ten), Mark Mitchell and Rebekah Elmaloglou open their garage doors, and Dick Johnson test drives monster trucks. In Your Money And Your Life (8pm, Ten), David Koch looks at combining assets, pre-nuptial agreements and the financial results of divorce. Rachel Griffiths guest stars in Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC).

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Marlene (Moya O’Sullivan) helps Danni (Eliza Szonert) and Mal (Benjie McNair) celebrate Mal’s birthday in style. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Chloe’s (Kristy Wright) father warns Jack (Daniel Amalm) to stay away from his daughter. Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) is a delayed telecast of Collingwood versus Adelaide from the MCG.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 24 June 1995. Southdown Press




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/06/1995-june-24-30.html

Jun 30 2015

1995: June 17-23

tvweek_170695Cover: Kylie Minogue

The hour is nigh!
After months of speculation it now appears that Nine‘s Jana Wendt is to move to New York to appear on the US version of 60 Minutes. Her contract with Nine expires at the end of the year — and through Nine’s output arrangements with the US it will still have access to Wendt’s US 60 Minutes stories, but without the high salary. Wendt’s husband Brendan Ward is also free to move with no professional ties here except for some post-production work for Seven.

Super Soap Showdown!
The stars of some of Australia’s most popular TV dramas of yesteryear will battle it out in Sale Of The Century‘s Battle Of The TV Classics. Joining Glenn Ridge and Nicky Buckley will be Paul Cronin, Lorraine Bayly, Andrew McFarlane and Susan Hannaford from The Sullivans; Maggie Kirkpatrick, Val Lehman, Fiona Spence and Colette Mann from Prisoner; Cornelia Frances, Chris King, Bartholomew John and Judy McBurney from The Young Doctors; and Jeff Kevin, Johnny Lockwood, Candy Raymond and Elaine Lee (pictured) from Number 96.


kimberleydavies_0003Kimberley’s new drama
Neighbours star Kimberley Davies has landed herself a new series of her own. She will be starring with John Howard in eight-part series of plays called Kimberley’s Playhouse — but the series appears only as a segment in ABC‘s comedy series HG & Roy Tonight. “Kimberley was an absolute professional,” Roy Slaven (John Doyle) told TV Week. “Each role fitted her like a comfy pair of slippers. I think she enjoyed working in another style different from the naturalism of Neighbours — that other show she does. Once casting directors cop an eyeful of this, she could easily become our next Sigrid Thornton.”

Don’s second slam dunk special
Following the ratings success of the recent tribute to The Don Lane Show, the Nine Network is doing it again this week with The Don Lane Show, Too! “There’s interviews that even I’d forgotten I’d done,” Lane told TV Week. But while TV variety is becoming a thing of the past, Lane is set for the next stage in his TV career. He has signed a lucrative deal to host a home shopping show for a pay TV network. “I see this as the next stage of the industry and it’s great to be involved,” he said.


  • Former Fast Forward star Marg Downey is to guest star in an upcoming episode of Blue Heelers. It will be her second dramatic TV role following her starring in the telemovie Economy Class.
  • davidreyne_0001David Reyne (pictured) and Tracy Grimshaw have been announced as the new hosts for the revived Midday show, which is due to debut sometime in July. Reyne fended off opposition from Today‘s Richard Wilkins and Monte Dwyer, who both auditioned with Grimshaw. His appointment comes after the Seven Network pulled the pin on his proposed late night talk show, Electric Blanket.
  • The return of ABC‘s youth affairs program, Wise Up with Jon Faine, was cancelled just days before it was scheduled to appear. Its return had already been listed in TV guides. Even though production of the series of 10 shows has been completed, at a cost of $500,000, it is believed that ABC’s head of television, Penny Chapman, is not a fan.
  • The cast of Heartbreak High have been on a promotional tour of Europe, where the series has been considerably more successful than here at home. It is currently screening in the UK and 12 other countries.
  • Burke’s Backyard‘s resident builder Peter Harris has been snapped up by Nine‘s other lifestyle show, Our House. Harris was signed up by Our House after he had been approached by rival network Seven to join Talk To The Animals as well as fronting his own show. “I wanted to stay with Nine anyway, and while I was umming and aahing and rejecting other things, Our House came along and said they wanted to expand, to grow a little and add another facet to the show,” he told TV Week.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 28 May): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Rugby League State Of Origin Nine Wed 2139000
2 Home Improvement Seven Sun 2076000
3 Lois & Clark Seven Mon 2066000
4 National Nine News Nine Sun 2062000
5 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1840000
6 National Nine News Nine M-F 1800000
7 Gladiators Seven Sat 1786000
8 ER Nine Thu 1777000
9 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1768000
10 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1768000
11 Step By Step Seven Thu 1755000
12 National Nine News Nine Sat 1742000
13 Just Kidding Nine Tue 1733000
14 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1719000
15 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1718000
16 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1704000
17 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1685000
18 The Footy Show Nine Thu 1680000
19 Hey Hey It’s Saturday Nine Sat 1652000
20 Funniest People Seven Thu 1641000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:

“It’s down to the bare-knuckles stuff now between the Seven Network‘s established Home And Away, and confident challenger, Network Ten‘s Echo Point. Eventually, it will have to be a fight to the death but, in between times, the biggest problem could be trying to pick the difference between them. We’ve had the Echo Point crowd introduced amid some plotline intrigue, while Home And Away has re-introduced some former favourites, albeit one of them as a ghost!”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 17-23):
Saturday: In Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten), musician Mike Oldfield talks about the making of his CD ROM. The AFL season has a mid-year break while the league plays State Of Origin — Victoria versus South Australia — in a delayed telecast from the MCG (6pm, Seven).

Sunday: The AFL State Of Origin (2pm, Seven) features Western Australia versus AFL Allies, live from Perth. In Banjo Paterson’s Man From Snowy River 2 (6.30pm, Nine), Kathleen (Wendy Hughes) starts a hospital for sick railway workers. Sunday night movies are Damage (Seven), Love, Honour And Obey (Nine) and Predator (repeat, Ten).

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), a plane is reported to have gone down with Angel (Melissa George), Dylan (Corey Glaister) and Teresa (Diane Craig) on board. Sale Of The Century‘s (7pm, Nine) Battle Of The TV Classics kicks off tonight featuring cast members from The Sullivans.

Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), the plane wreckage is found with one fatality; while Michael (Dennis Coard) goes off in search of two missing people. Don Lane presents a second tribute to his long-running tonight show with The Don Lane Show, Too (8.30pm, Nine). In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Sonia (Zoe Carides) and Martin (Damian Rice) are in conflict over their racial attitudes when the witness an injured footballer’s shabby treatment by his club.


Wednesday: Former Prisoner cast members Maggie Kirkpatrick, Val Lehman, Fiona Spence and Colette Mann (pictured) are contestants on Sale Of The Century‘s (7pm, Nine) Battle Of The TV Classics.

Thursday: In Echo Point (7pm, Ten), Frannie (Rebecca Murphy) is hurt to see Dave (Tom Long) has a girlfriend. The series return of Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) features shopping in New York, trekking from Nepal to Mount Everest and a trip of a lifetime on board the Endeavour. In Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC), thrillseeking BASE jumpers try to enlist Mickey (Gary Sweet) and the Squad as their ground crew.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Marlene (Moya O’Sullivan) continues in her quest to find the gnome snatcher. The AFL season resumes with Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven), a delayed telecast of Essendon versus Hawthorn at the MCG.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 17 June 1995. Southdown Press




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/06/1995-june-17-23.html

Jun 29 2015

1995: June 10-16

tvweek_100695Home And Away home wrecker!
“I’ve never wanted to play a goody-two-shows character,” Home And Away star Isla Fisher (pictured) told TV Week as her character, Shannon, sets her sights on the recently-married Shane (Dieter Brummer). “I’m not there to have the entire population fall in love with my character — that’s unrealistic. I think the audience likes to see a bad side to everyone, and Shannon can be quite devious.” But Fisher is ready for the backlash that could occur . “Can you imagine the fan mail I’m going to get after this? Everyone’s going to write in and say, ‘She’s awful. Get rid of that vixen Shannon!’.”

catrionarowntreeWhat’s next, Doc?
Catriona Rowntree (pictured), the 23-year-old who in only three years has risen to fame as a reporter and host on Wonder World! as well as hosting cartoon show What’s Up Doc? and the weekend request show on Triple J, is considering her next career move. “It may be time for me to be getting back into journalism,” she told TV Week. “I don’t want to be an actor and I don’t want to be a singer. I like to write and I like talking to people and telling stories.” Rowntree completed a journalism degree in 1990 before getting her first job at a national magazine. She had also worked as a news researcher and newsreader at a community radio station. “I feel like I have to honour my commitment to what I started out doing.”

Sonia’s set to shine
Having worked on Police Rescue and now filming the movie Shine, it may be hard to believe that Sonia Todd once considered giving up acting. It happened after she was fired by British actor Rex Harrison just before the opening of the satirical play Aren’t We All in Melbourne. “We’d been rehearsing with the stand ins, and then Rex turned up three days before opening and fired me!,” she told TV Week. “He said I wasn’t tall enough or classy enough. I don’t know exactly, but they gave me the boot. It was pretty devastating at the time. I thought, ‘I’m obviously not cut out for acting in this cut-throat type of thing’.” But then she scored the role of Georgia in Police Rescue, which is about to begin production on its fifth series. “Yeah, I’ve been giving up acting. I’ll get around to it one day,” she laughs.


  • It was an all-star celebration at Melbourne’s HSV7 recently as the station clocked up four ratings wins over traditional leader GTV9. Among those to celebrate were cast members of Blue Heelers as well as Tim Watson (4 Quarters) and Cathy Godbold (Newlyweds) (pictured).
  • Former Chances star Rhys Muldoon has signed up to join the cast of Nine‘s new comedy series Us And Them.
  • Mary Gearin, new reporter for Nine‘s Sports Sunday program, says she has no qualms about working in a predominantly male environment. “Men can get awfully aggressive, even just talking about their sport, but usually the players are okay to deal with. I certainly don’t have a problem being around them and doing my job,” she told TV Week.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 21 May): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Lois & Clark Seven Mon 2159000
2 National Nine News Nine Sun 2097000
3 Home Improvement Seven Sun 2052000
4 Gladiators Seven Sat 1929000
5 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1916000
6 The World’s Greatest Commercials Seven Sun 1913000
7 The X Files Ten Wed 1873000
8 ER Nine Thu 1841000
9 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1807000
10 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1805000
11 Step By Step Seven Thu 1792000
12 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1778000
13 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1750000
14 National Nine News Nine Sat 1742000
15 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1735000
16 National Nine News Nine M-F 1726000
17 Just Kidding Nine Tue 1723000
18 The Footy Show Nine Thu 1710000
19 The Nanny Ten Wed 1679000
20 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1676000

Caron James: The View From Here:

“The only big weakness Blue Heelers has is its lack of women police officers. Lisa McCune is the only female member of the regular cast, and it would be gratifying to see another policewoman character added to the show. The producers are well aware of this shortcoming, but seem to be taking their time about addressing it. And now we come to that other Australian cop sow, Funky Squad, with no basis in reality whatsoever. It’s a good gag but, in the end, it is just that — a gag that perhaps should have been a one-off special, but doesn’t stand up as a series. As suspected, the funniest thing about Funky Squad is the inclusion of actual 1970s commercials (Lime Fresh!).”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 10-16):
Saturday: Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) meets a doctor, hooked on adrenaline, who jumps off cliffs to relieve stress. Anthony Warlow, Australia’s first Phantom Of The Opera, guest stars on Hey Hey It’s Saturday (6.30pm, Nine) to perform songs from his new album. The Rugby World Cup resumes with the First (8.30pm, Ten) and Second (11.20pm, Ten) Quarter Finals.

Sunday: AFL Sunday (1pm, Seven) includes Brisbane versus Fitzroy, live from Brisbane, followed by Fremantle versus North Melbourne, live from Perth. In Heartbreak High (5.30pm, Ten), Vic (Ernie Dingo) is clearly shaken when a man from his home town turns up at the school wanting to talk. Sunday night movies are Stalking Laura (Seven) and Butterbox Babies (Nine). The Rugby World Cup continues with the Third (8.30pm, Ten) and Fourth (11.20pm, Ten) Quarter Finals.

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Billy (Jesse Spencer) thinks he’s in luck with Olivia (Renai Caruso) but doesn’t know her real motives. The final clash of the Rugby League State Of Origin series has a delayed coverage (9.30pm, Nine).

lorrainebayly_0002Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Donna (Nicola Quilter) tries to enjoy romance the only way Travis (Nic Testoni) knows how — with beer and pizza. Lorraine Bayly (pictured) and Peter O’Brien guest star as a mother and son in GP (8.30pm, ABC). In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Nick (William McInnes) and Adam (Damian Walshe-Howling) investigate a rape in the outlying town of Widgeree.

Wednesday: In Halifax fp: Hard Cops (8.30pm, Nine), when a criminal is gunned down during a meeting with detectives, forensic psychiatrist Jane Halifax (Rebecca Gibney) is enmeshed in a complex web of corruption allegations, organised crime, bribery and love.

Thursday: In Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC), Constable Kathy Orland (Tammy MacIntosh) makes an error of judgement and questions her ability as a rescue cop.

carolinegillmer_0001Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Karl (Alan Fletcher) confronts Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer, pictured) about Mal (Benjie McNair) and Danni’s (Eliza Szonert) sleeping arrangements.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 10 June 1995. Southdown Press





Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/06/1995-june-10-16.html

Jun 28 2015

1995: June 3-9

tvweek_030695Cover: Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny (The X Files)

Nicolle returns to her old haunts!
Former Home And Away favourite Nicolle Dickson is returning to the series… two years after her character, Bobby, was killed off! In upcoming episodes, Ailsa (Judy Nunn), who is approaching a nervous breakdown, has visions of her dead friend, Bobby. “It’s a really good storyline for Judy,” Dickson told TV Week. “I’m more part of Ailsa’s subconscious than a ghost!”

After 500 shows, Geoff’s still cooking
Geoff Jansz will soon be presenting his 500th episode of Nine‘s What’s Cooking. Since taking over from Gabriel Gate in 1993, Jansz has prepared more than 2000 recipes for the show. “I really enjoy it and never get tired of it. I just fall in a heap at the end of the day,” he told TV Week. “I like recipes that use fabulous ingredients and which viewers feel they can make too.” Some What’s Cooking segments are filmed at Jansz’s farm property at Bowral, New South Wales. “I said from day one that we should get a farm on What’s Cooking to show the growing side of it. They (Nine) finally agreed, so I spent all my holidays ploughing the fields!”

michaelcraigsuewalkerMichael set for GP marriage… to his real-life wife!
Fans of the ABC series GP will have been following the romance between William (Michael Craig) and Eva (Craig’s real-life wife, Sue Walker). William offered a vague proposal to Eva in episodes screened a few weeks ago, but the couple’s engagement storyline will not appear until later in the year. What is unknown is whether or not William and Eva finally do tie the knot.  “I think we will be married,” Craig told TV Week. “But we know nothing at the moment. We would be the last people to be told what is intended.” He is not exaggerating, either. Craig admitted that the first he heard about actor Steve Bisley joining the cast of GP was by watching a report on ABC’s magazine program TVTV. “There had been rumours,” he said. “They hadn’t actually informed us.” As to the show’s future, Craig is equally in the dark as to whether it will get renewed for another year or if he will be part of it. “There’s this sort of talk every year. All I can tell you is that we are both contracted with the show until the middle of October. As for whether I’d like to come back, that rather depends on what they do. The show might come back without me.”


  • The Ten Network‘s new soapie Echo Point kicks off this week… taking on Home And Away in the 7.00pm timeslot from Monday. Ten is confident that Echo Point (with cast including New Zealander Martin Henderson and newcomer Rose Byrne, pictured) will see Home And Away take a hit in the ratings, but Seven is fighting back with Home And Away this week featuring the return of former cast members Emily Symons (Marilyn), Nicolle Dickson (Bobby) and Adam Willits (Steven).
  • Meanwhile, the Nine Network is working with Village Roadshow on a new soap, Breakers, to be filmed on the Gold Coast. The new show, to have a PG rating, is aimed for a daytime or late-night timeslot. No cast members have been announced as yet but production is expected to begin in August.
  • Nine is also making a pilot for a new comedy series. Titled Us And Them, it features a cast of two men and two women and looks at how near impossible it is to get on with the opposite sex. “It’s ‘battle of the sexes’ dressed up in a new comedy,” a spokesperson for Nine said. Us And Them is being produced by Telltale Films (producers of All Together Now and The Bob Morrison Show) and features Doris Younane (Heartbreak High), Kylle Hogart and Brian Meegan.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 14 May): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Rugby League State Of Origin Nine Mon 2182000
2 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1941000
3 National Nine News Nine Sun 1892000
4 ER Nine Thu 1874000
5 Gladiators Seven Sat 1869000
6 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1834000
7 National Nine News Nine M-F 1791000
8 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1781000
9 The X Files Ten Wed 1766000
10 National Nine News Nine Sat 1752000
11 Just Kidding Nine Tue 1727000
12 Lois & Clark Seven Mon 1719000
13 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1701000
14 The World’s Greatest Commercials Seven Sun 1696000
15 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1694000
16 The Footy Show Nine Thu 1687000
17 Our House Nine Wed 1675000
18 Money Nine Wed 1668000
19 The Nanny Ten Wed 1642000
20 Hey Hey It’s Saturday Nine Sat 1636000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:

“Don’t do it — that’s all I can say about the first big steps towards televising criminal court proceedings in Australia. In Melbourne recently, Justice Teague allowed a television camera to record his sentencing to life imprisonment of self-confessed child killer Nathan John Avent. The footage, under Mr Justice Teague’s editing supervision and other stringent conditions, was allowed to be run on the television news services that night. But, apart from triggering a fairly hot public debate (“Murder sentence broadcast divides the nation”, said Page One of The Australian), did it really achieve much? The commercial networks led their bulletins with the story, mainly, they said, because of the historical significance of the footage. The ABC declined to do so, citing Mr Justice Teague’s conditions as compromising to the corporation’s editorial independence. Taking that position often can be seen as “precious”, but in this instance I don’t think so. I admire the stand the ABC took. Let’s not have lawyers more concerned about the media than their clients, the media more concerned about the prosecutor’s changes in hairstyle than the evidence she can produce. I know justice must be seen to have been done… but not seen live on television, thank you very much.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 3-9):
Saturday: Jacqueline and Iain Gillespie present a new magazine series, House Hunt (12pm, Seven), looking at houses for sale in Melbourne. Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) looks at a new treatment to help prevent miscarriages and how to design a computer game. The Rugby World Cup (10.45pm, Ten) features Australia versus Romania, Scotland versus France, Tonga versus Ivory Coast (highlights) and Canada versus South Africa.

Sunday: AFL Sunday (2pm, Seven) includes West Coast Eagles versus Brisbane, live from Perth, followed by highlights of Carlton versus Hawthorn at Optus Oval in Melbourne. Sunday night movies are Three Of Hearts (Seven), the 1964 classic My Fair Lady (repeat, Nine) and Stop! Or My Mother Will Shoot (Ten). Rugby World Cup (10.40pm, Ten) continues overnight.

Monday: In the debut of Echo Point (7pm, Ten), Daniel Blake (Phillip Gordon) returns to Echo Point after a long and bitter absence. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Marilyn (Emily Symons) returns to Summer Bay with her marriage in jeopardy. In the series final of Funky Squad (8pm, ABC), the squad becomes the subject of twisted death threats after an inmate with a score to settle is released from jail. In the Cody telemovie The Tipoff (8.30pm, Seven), Cody (Gary Sweet) and Fiorelli (Robert Mammone) stake out a gun shop after Cody gets a tip-off that a job is on. Later, Cody learns from his mother that Jimmy Cotter (Frankie J Holden), a childhood friend, is in town. Cotter, a thug turned slick businessman, sets up shonky investment companies and Cody’s mother loses a small fortune.

Tuesday: In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), when a woman reports her daughter as missing, the Blue Heelers find she has moved in with her schoolteacher.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Helen (Anne Haddy) and Reuben’s (James Condon) dream relationship ends. In Echo Point (7pm, Ten), tempers flare as Zac (Martin Henderson), Dean (Diarmid Heidenreich) and Edwina’s (Jessica Napier) joyride ends. ABC radio host Jon Faine hosts a new series of Wise Up (10pm, ABC), looking at issues related to youth rights.

simonreeve_0001Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Ailsa (Judy Nunn) thinks Alf (Ray Meagher) is trying to kill her. In Wildlife With Olivia Newton-John (7.30pm, Nine), Michael Beatty visits a Spanish refuge for donkeys, Simon Reeve (pictured) visits Costa Rica in search of the country’s national emblem, the macaw, and Olivia Newton-John travels to Canada to report on a study into the Canadian moose.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Sally (Kate Ritchie) is sprung with her fingers in the till. Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) features delayed coverage of Collingwood versus St Kilda at the MCG.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 3 June 1995. Southdown Press




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/06/1995-june-3-9.html

Jun 26 2015

Channel 78 is off and racing…

racing_0001Another channel has just joined our free-to-air ranks.

Channel 78, formerly the home of infomercial channel Fresh Ideas TV, has relaunched as a racing station from the Seven Network in association with Racing Victoria.

As part of its broadcast rights agreement with Racing Victoria (RV) and as an interim measure following the cessation of Victorian racing coverage via Sky Racing, Seven’s new channel will be broadcasting the online stream of the Racing.com website until such time as the new RV channel is launched — currently scheduled for 29 August.

The new channel will give viewers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth access to coverage of all Victorian races.

Unlike other channels on the free to air platform, Channel 78 is broadcasting as an MPEG4 service which should be compatible with recent model tuners. Viewers with older tuners, possibly purchased prior to 2009, may need to upgrade or purchase a new receiver or Personal Video Recorder.

RV and Seven will be working on extending the channel’s availability to areas outside of the Seven Network coverage. Discussions also continue with Tabcorp to resume Victorian racing broadcasts on Sky Racing.

Source: Racing.com


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/06/channel-78-is-off-and-racing.html

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